Post List

  • December 13, 2010
  • 01:30 PM
  • 996 views

Whistling Caterpillars - Spiraculous!

by Clark in Now Hear This

Slow-moving and juicy, caterpillars are prime snacks for birds, wasps, and other predators. Through natural selection, caterpillars in turn have gained numerous ways of defending themselves, mostly passively with visual tricks: camouflage, or by rolling themselves up inside leaves, or by mimicking the coloring of distasteful bugs. A select few take a more active defense. A couple of years ago, Jayne Yack, a neuroethologist at Carleton University in Ottawa, discovered that common silkmoth caterpi........ Read more »

  • December 13, 2010
  • 12:36 PM
  • 1,375 views

Redefining Great Britain

by GrrlScientist in Maniraptora

SUMMARY: This new research describes a clever way to redefine and redraw geographical areas using telephone communication networks... Read more »

Carlo Ratti, Stanislav Sobolevsky, Francesco Calabrese, Clio Andris, Jonathan Reades, Mauro Martino, Rob Claxton, & Steven H. Strogatz. (2010) Redrawing the Map of Great Britain from a Network of Human Interactions. . PLoS ONE, 5(12). info:/10.1371/journal.pone.0014248

  • December 13, 2010
  • 12:24 PM
  • 820 views

Back to the Late Jurassic, With Chris Noto

by Andrew Farke in The Open Source Paleontologist

If you ask the average person to imagine the Age of Dinosaurs, odds are quite good that they might envision a scene from the Morrison Formation. This Late Jurassic-aged (156 - 147 million year old) rock unit of the western United States has given us such dinosaur greats as Stegosaurus, Apatosaurus, Allosaurus, and more. Many of these animals are known from exquisitely-preserved, complete skeletons - and thus their anatomy has been described in pretty ridiculous detail. The functional morphology ........ Read more »

  • December 13, 2010
  • 11:53 AM
  • 944 views

Where stalkers become friends: Geo-tagging on Flickr

by Jon Wilkins in Lost in Transcription

So, you probably remember this from the most recent episode of The Mentalist / Bones / Castle / Criminal Minds / Numb3rs:

SEXY YET PROFESSIONAL DETECTIVE: What have we got?SASSY JUNIOR DETECTIVE: Nothing. All of our leads have dried up like Cher's ovaries.GRUFF SENIOR LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICIAL: We've got to wrap this thing up. I've got the mayor breathing down my neck.MAYOR: Hhhhhhhhhh. Hhhhhhhhhh.G.S.L.E.O.: And now he's drooling.S.Y.P.D.: We'll keep after it, but we're a bit short-handed after........ Read more »

Crandall, D., Backstrom, L., Cosley, D., Suri, S., Huttenlocher, D., & Kleinberg, J. (2010) Inferring social ties from geographic coincidences. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1006155107  

  • December 13, 2010
  • 11:48 AM
  • 1,108 views

Do Personalities Converge After Marriage?

by William Yates, M.D. in Brain Posts

Spouses tend to share some personality features in most studies of psychometric personality assessment.  This findings prompts the question of whether spousal personalities become more similar after marriage or are these features present at the time of marriage.  The concept of assortative mating is well known in studies of spousal selection.  Assortative mating is the concept that individuals tend to associate and select partners that share personality and other characteristics.&........ Read more »

Humbad MN, Donnellan MB, Iacono WG, McGue M, & Burt SA. (2010) Is Spousal Similarity for Personality A Matter of Convergence or Selection?. Personality and individual differences, 49(7), 827-830. PMID: 21116446  

  • December 13, 2010
  • 11:32 AM
  • 1,701 views

Cognitive enhancement goes Hollywood

by Bradley Voytek in Oscillatory Thoughts

My pals Kevin and m1k3y over at grinding.be recently posted about a little viral-intent video for the upcoming movie starring Bradley Cooper: Limitless.I'm intentionally trying to not read too much about this movie beforehand, so I can't really give a plot synopsis beyond what I've gathered from the YouTube video and Wikipedia write-up. But from what I've gleaned, apparently Bradley Cooper's character gets hold of an experimental drug ("NZT"), and quickly finds that it greatly enhances his cogni........ Read more »

Greely, H., Sahakian, B., Harris, J., Kessler, R., Gazzaniga, M., Campbell, P., & Farah, M. (2008) Towards responsible use of cognitive-enhancing drugs by the healthy. Nature, 456(7223), 702-705. DOI: 10.1038/456702a  

Maher, B. (2008) Poll results: look who's doping. Nature, 452(7188), 674-675. DOI: 10.1038/452674a  

  • December 13, 2010
  • 11:14 AM
  • 1,281 views

This “Week” in the Universe: November 30th – December 13th

by S.C. Kavassalis in The Language of Bad Physics

Astrophysics and Gravitation:
The Milky Way Project
The Milky Way Project aims to sort and measure our galaxy, the Milky Way. Initially we’re asking you to help us find and draw bubbles in beautiful infrared data from the Spitzer Space Telescope.
Understanding the cold, dusty material that we see in these images, helps scientists to learn how stars form and how our galaxy changes and evolves with time.
The GalaxyZoo project expands! Help astronomers out when you’re feeling in the........ Read more »

Abhay Ashtekar, Frans Pretorius, & Fethi M. Ramazanoğlu. (2010) Surprises in the Evaporation of 2-Dimensional Black Holes. arXiv. arXiv: 1011.6442v1

I. K. Wehus, & H. K. Eriksen. (2010) A search for concentric circles in the 7-year WMAP temperature sky maps. arXiv. arXiv: 1012.1268v1

Adam Moss, Douglas Scott, & James P. Zibin. (2010) No evidence for anomalously low variance circles on the sky. arXiv. arXiv: 1012.1305v1

V. G. Gurzadyan, & R. Penrose. (2010) More on the low variance circles in CMB sky. arXiv. arXiv: 1012.1486v1

  • December 13, 2010
  • 10:12 AM
  • 816 views

The Vitamin D Controversy

by A. Goldstein in WiSci

Vitamin D could quite possibly be one of the most controversial supplements of the decade. Deficiency can cause rickets (in children) or osteoporosis, and experts such as Dr. Michael Holick of Boston University assert that the average modern-world citizen doesn’t get enough.1 Alternatively, other researchers such as Dr. Clifford Rosen of the Maine Medical Center [...]... Read more »

Sullivan SS, Rosen CJ, Halteman WA, Chen TC, . (2005) Adolescent Girls in Maine Are at Risk for Vitamin D Insufficiency. Journal of the American Dietetic Association, 105(6), 971-974. DOI: 10.1016/j.jada.2005.03.002  

Ross AC, Manson JE, Abrams SA, Aloia JF, Brannon PM, Clinton SK, Durazo-Arvizu RA, Gallagher JC, Gallo RL, Jones G.... (2010) The 2011 Report on Dietary Reference Intakes for Calcium and Vitamin D from the Institute of Medicine: What Clinicians Need to Know. The Journal of clinical endocrinology and metabolism. PMID: 21118827  

  • December 13, 2010
  • 10:05 AM
  • 839 views

DNA Deniers

by Mary in OpenHelix

Wha?
From Michael Pollan:
"How the gene-disease paradigm appears to be collapsing. Why aren't we hearing about this?! http://p2.to/14XB"

Wha?
Michael Pollan and his flock became all aerated the other day when Michael tweeted this tidbit. It links to a story with quite the title:
The Great DNA Data Deficit: Are Genes for Disease a Mirage?
Srsly. That’s what it says.
What do I think this is? The second case of gene denialism that I have observed. (The first was a group disputing autism........ Read more »

Baker, M. (2010) Genomics: The search for association. Nature, 467(7319), 1135-1138. DOI: 10.1038/4671135a  

Cyranoski, D. (2010) Genetics: Pet project. Nature, 466(7310), 1036-1038. DOI: 10.1038/4661036a  

  • December 13, 2010
  • 10:00 AM
  • 1,455 views

An Archival Treasure: Singing Mice?

by Jason Goldman in The Thoughtful Animal

Sometimes, when trolling through your institution's journal subscriptions online, you wander into a treasure trove. I happened upon such a treasure trove recently: the Journal of Animal Behavior, which was published for just six years, between 1911 and 1916.

The studies described in this journal were being conducted at a time when experimental psychology was just emerging as a serious scientific discipline. In 1881, for example, Wilhelm Wundt organized the first scientific journal devoted to ps........ Read more »

Charles A. Coburn. (1912) Singing Mice. Journal of Animal Behavior, 2(5), 364-366. info:/

  • December 13, 2010
  • 09:50 AM
  • 1,408 views

After the dung-fly: parasite effects on human behaviour

by davesbrain in Dave Hubble's ecology spot

Following my recent post about behavioural modification of insects by Fungi such as Entomophthora, I was sufficiently intrigued to digress from my usual ecological and entomological subject matter and look at work on related processes in humans. Rather than a fungus, the organism I am particularly interested in is the widespread parasitic protozoan Toxoplasma gondii. Spread to humans (and many, many other species) by various mechanisms including handling and consumption of raw meat, transplacent........ Read more »

Henriquez, S.A., Brett, R., Alexander, J., Pratt, J., & Roberts, C.W. (2009) Neuropsychiatric disease and Toxoplasma gondii infection. Neuroimmunomodulation, 16(2), 122-133. PMID: 19212132  

  • December 13, 2010
  • 09:15 AM
  • 1,808 views

Does snacking from a large bowl result in overeating?

by Peter Janiszewski, Ph.D. in Obesity Panacea

It is often stated that the accumulation of excess body weight is a simple matter of energy intake exceeding energy expenditure. While this notion is certainly correct, it does not account for the myriad of factors that drive one to consume more calories than necessary.
Take for example the size of a bowl from which you eat your snacks.
Could this simple factor play a role in the number of calories you may consume?
Back in 2005, Wansink and Cheney performed a wonderfully simple study and found t........ Read more »

Wansink, B. (2005) Super Bowls: Serving Bowl Size and Food Consumption. JAMA: The Journal of the American Medical Association, 293(14), 1727-1728. DOI: 10.1001/jama.293.14.1727  

  • December 13, 2010
  • 08:33 AM
  • 1,118 views

BDNF and Depression

by Scicurious in Neurotic Physiology

I’ve written a bunch of posts in the past on serotonin, the serotonin theory of depression (and why it’s probably wrong), and some stuff on current antidepressant treatments. And I even talked before a little bit about the serotonin theory vs the BDNF theory. But I’ve never really COVERED what the BDNF theory IS and [...]... Read more »

Schmidt HD, & Duman RS. (2010) Peripheral BDNF Produces Antidepressant-Like Effects in Cellular and Behavioral Models. Neuropsychopharmacology : official publication of the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology. PMID: 21085113  

  • December 13, 2010
  • 08:00 AM
  • 1,307 views

The lonely places: Where could life exist, but doesn’t?

by Zen Faulkes in NeuroDojo

Our planet is covered with life. Birds fly over Mount Everest; ecosystems thrive at hot vents at the bottom of the ocean. And the more we have looked, the more and more weird places we find organisms living in places we thought was completely uninhabitable.

Given all the interest in the idea that life could exist without phosphorus, this new article by Cockell is extremely timely. Cockell points out that if we want to understand life, we have to pay attention not just to where life is present, ........ Read more »

Cockell CS. (2011) Vacant habitats in the Universe. Trends in Ecology . info:/10.1016/j.tree.2010.11.004

  • December 13, 2010
  • 07:12 AM
  • 1,162 views

Arsenic-based life and the nature of science

by Kent in Uncommon Ground

If you read this blog, you probably read about the report in Science describing a claim that scientists had isolated a bacterium from Mono Lake in California that substitutes arsenic for phosphorus to sustain its growth. Our data show evidence...... Read more »

Wolfe-Simon, F., Blum, J., Kulp, T., Gordon, G., Hoeft, S., Pett-Ridge, J., Stolz, J., Webb, S., Weber, P., Davies, P.... (2010) A Bacterium That Can Grow by Using Arsenic Instead of Phosphorus. Science. DOI: 10.1126/science.1197258  

  • December 13, 2010
  • 07:00 AM
  • 568 views

December 13, 2010

by Erin Campbell in HighMag Blog

It is always exciting to read a paper that describes a fascinating discovery. It is even more exciting when that discovery opens the door to so many interesting questions. The paper that brought us today’s image is a great example of this.... Read more »

  • December 13, 2010
  • 06:07 AM
  • 1,281 views

When cross-examination [of the expert witness] offends

by Doug Keene in The Jury Room

Your witnesses can make your case. They can also make your case a dog.  I was called several months ago to do witness preparation for trial on a commercial case that was, before our key witnesses flamed out in deposition, viewed as a mid-7 figure case.  After a dismal deposition performance, the plaintiff attorneys that [...]


Related posts:Overdoing it: Is there such a thing as too little anxiety in your witness?
“I didn’t know truth had a gender”
Tattoos: When should you clean up your........ Read more »

  • December 13, 2010
  • 05:45 AM
  • 2,601 views

Redefining Great Britain

by GrrlScientist in GrrlScientist

This research paper describes a clever way to redefine and redraw geographical areas using telephone communication networks... Read more »

Carlo Ratti, Stanislav Sobolevsky, Francesco Calabrese, Clio Andris, Jonathan Reades, Mauro Martino, Rob Claxton, & Steven H. Strogatz. (2010) Redrawing the Map of Great Britain from a Network of Human Interactions. . PLoS ONE, 5(12). info:/10.1371/journal.pone.0014248

  • December 13, 2010
  • 05:28 AM
  • 1,234 views

When and how psychological data is collected affects the kind of students who volunteer

by BPS Research Digest in BPS Research Digest

Psychology has a serious problem. You may have heard about its over-dependence on WEIRD participants - that is, those from Western, Educated, Industrialised, Rich Democracies. More specifically, as regular readers will be aware, countless psychology studies (especially those with a social bent) involve undergraduate students, often those studying psychology. Apart from the obvious fact that this limits the generalisability of the findings, Edward Witt and his colleagues provide evidence in a new........ Read more »

  • December 13, 2010
  • 05:14 AM
  • 1,499 views

Enablers and Barriers to Risk Mitigation

by Daniel Dumke in SCRM Blog - Supply Chain Risk Management


Everybody concerned with the task of developing risk mitigation strategies has a list in his mind of different factors influencing a company's exposure to risk and if you think about it: those factors are probably related.
Example: The number of suppliers for one component can have a huge impact on risk, but the necessity of a high number of (redundant) suppliers may itself be affected by the trust you built with your main supplier. Both trust and having multiple suppliers affect supply cha........ Read more »

Faisal, M. N., Banwet, D.K., & Shankar, R. (2006) Supply Chain Risk Mitigation: Modeling the Enablers. Business Process Management Journal, 12(4), 535-552. info:/

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